Do you like waking up in the morning? I do. As a matter of fact, I like myself the best in the morning because I feel so refreshed. Sleep is like nature’s magic, isn’t it?
As I look out the window first thing in the morning, the view of the outdoors reminds me how beautiful and well-balanced everything in nature really is. All of the animals and birds that hang around in our neighborhood are like our pets – except I don’t ever have to feed them because nature provides everything they need. Their daily focus is simply to feed themselves. As a local pastor says, “You don’t work, you don’t eat.” Animals know this nature’s law instinctively and, believe it or not, so do I. The knowledge that I am part of nature gives me great comfort about my own existence.
Almost every morning, I find myself admiring the blue sky. The sky is like nature’s canvas. It never stays the same. For brief moments at dawn and at dusk, the sky often displays stunningly beautiful hues of color. And I like rain, too, especially when the grass needs it.
In terms of keeping our environment neat and clean within our household, David and I have daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual routines that we follow. None of them are as daunting as they may sound on the surface, however, thanks to various robots that do much of the work. For the most part, I set it and forget it – while I focus on my business – and the cleaning is completed before the end of the day almost magically. Here is how it really works for me.
- Every so often, whenever nature calls, I take a forced break. When this happens, on the way to the restroom, I cannot help but notice which machine needs my attention to set and/or reset it so that it keeps getting the job done for me.
- In everything I do, I use the Japanese tea-ceremony technique. In other words, I use only what I need. And whatever I do use, I clean thoroughly immediately thereafter so that it is ready for the next use, whether it is by someone else or me.
- I wish those who use public restrooms could adhere to this simple rule. Nine out of ten times in America, unless you’re in a reputable hotel or restaurant, I not only end up cleaning the stall before use but also making sure that it is clean and ready for the next person’s immediate use.
- Most people, who were not taught to stop and think about what it feels like to be the next person who needs to use the facilities, do not know to care about how that individual feels. Imagine a society in which every single individual cleans up after his or her own mess in public restrooms, and how pleasant it would be for all of us!
- If I see litter on the ground, I pick it up and discard it in the trash can. I learned this simple technique to keep our immediate environment clean and pleasant in school in Japan. At the end of each day, we were expected to take turns and clean the floors of the classroom, in which we were privileged to gain new knowledge. A sense of ownership for the environment, and responsibility that goes along with it, was instilled in all of us. If you ever wondered why Japan is so clean everywhere you go, this is why. Cleanliness is a reflection of our respect for others.
One of my most favorite results from our monthly cleaning tasks is when, during warmer seasons, we get to put our bedding outside for sunbathing. In fact, as I write this blog, I’m thoroughly enjoying the fresh fragrance of the outdoors; the entire bedroom smells fresh. While this is something most people did in Japan when I was growing up, I have never seen anyone else do it here in America. My mother used to say it kills all germs. While I’m not sure if this is 100% true, her assessment may have some validity. Think about it. The sun is beating on the bedding for several hours straight. You may want to give it a try with your own bedding, too. It will probably make you feel happy and be grateful for the simple things in life, as it does me. And it costs you nothing!
Although it has been a while since I left corporate America, I basically follow a similar work-week schedule and weekends. It wasn’t always like this, however. Until recently, I used to work seven days a week on (as well as in) my investment business. According to David, I work from when I wake up in the morning till I drop at night each day. He has been concerned that, at such an intense pace, I’m likely to burn out at some point. Although I don’t think of it as work and, therefore, I don’t feel that it’s necessarily bad for my health, I do appreciate his concern. So, about a year ago, I began making conscious efforts to take time out of my regular work – to enjoy other activities, such as reading (for pleasure). For the most part, I am still not able to relax on Saturdays (due to spill-over work that needs to get done) but, I’m making some progress on Sundays. Psychologically, I’m beginning to enjoy seeing a nothing-scheduled day once a week on my iPhone calendar.
I like the rhythm of my daily life. Life is good.